US troops join the fight against ISIS in Syria

Posted March 13, 2017

Such groups have apparently been favored by the USA, largely because they are consistent, organized, and more importantly have no jihadi background or religious motive behind their cause, Ahmad Ashqar, a Syrian journalist, told Xinhua.

In spite of some differences in the past between the Syrian Army and the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), a new understanding between them has been established in the face of a common Turkish threat, Fars News reported.

At the same time, Turkish forces shelling Kurds hit Syrian government forces, whose patron Moscow reportedly has advisers in the area.

The Kurdish armed forces in Syria, called the People's Protection Units (YPG), are viewed as terrorists by Turkey which asserts they are connected to the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The U.N. Office for Humanitarian Coordination, OCHA, said in a statement that 13,350 people fled to government-run areas in one day alone.

Citing the deployment of U.S. Marines, an analysis of U.S. involvement in Syria at The Washington Examiner predicts the planning for a post-ISIS peace deal in the war-ravaged country. USA military commands favor a mixed force of Syrian Arabs and the Kurdish People's Protection Units militia.

Aleppo, once Syria's industrial capital, suffered for years from severe water shortages as the government and opposition fighters contested the city and the Islamic State group controlled its upstream source - the pumping stations at the town of Khafseh on the Euphrates River. The US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq said earlier this month that its raids had unintentionally killed at least 220 civilians since 2014 in both countries.

Additional concern over the use of the SDF forces comes from the 200,000 residents inside Raqqa - mostly Sunni Arabs who fear that a victory for the Kurdish group could lead to forced displacement from their homes.

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The US has clarified that it is taking measures to avoid clashes between the YPG and Turkish forces.

But when Kurdish People Protection Units (YPG) emerged as reliable factions, the USA opted to render support to this group, and allied rebel fighters, which emerged later, such as the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), which comprises of Kurds, Arabs and Assyrians.

On Tuesday, the Minbij Military Council, which is part of the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), handed areas west of Minbij to Syrian government forces, part of an agreement brokered by Russian Federation.

The newly-deployed troops join the 500 US military personnel already on the ground, where they are assisting Kurdish and Syrian coalition militia in the final leg of an offensive that has been months in the making. If Turkey attacked its SDF allies in Manbij then the SDF would divert resources from the Raqqa offensive to fight Turkey and its Arab allies.

American military officials have often stated that the SDF will need additional combat power if they are to press into Raqqa, where ISIS has already established elaborate defenses.

The bill would allow for exceptions to "protect, rescue or remove" US personnel.

Meanwhile, Rami Abdul-Rahman, the head of the Observatory monitor group, said that the major battle for Raqqa is "very close".